I CHEATED MYSELF
Let me be transparent…..
My first career out of college paid me $55K plus bonus and to many that is a great start out of college, but if you look much closer I actually screwed myself. I made a mistake that could have cost me tens of thousands of dollars if I would have stayed the course. That mistake was not understanding my worth. See that job offer came as a result of an internship I had six months earlier. I did such a great job during that eight month internship that I knew I had a career waiting after graduation. What I didn't know was how to ask for what I wanted.
I didn't notice that when I went to interview for the guaranteed position that all six managers interviewed me at the same time because they all wanted me on their team. They had heard how as a college student I took over the largest territory in Minneapolis, MN and increased sales to a point that the team won a trip and more bonus money. Both which I did not get to partake in because I was a college intern and all that was guaranteed was my monthly pay. I sat in front of those managers and it was up to me to pick who I wanted to work with and not the other way around. I was in complete control.
Actually I wasn't in control of my own mind. This interview took place in Indiana and I am from North Carolina. They offered me $10K more than the internship I had six months earlier so in my head I was winning when in fact I was losing. Little did I know a guy who went through the same process I did received $65K starting offer. I graduated Summa Cum Laude and brought in millions of dollars to the company during that internship, but yet I was offered less.
If I knew then what I know now that interview would have never taken place in Indiana. It would have taken place in North Carolina. I would have known the range of the position's salary and demanded the $65K. I would have set myself up to make more money in my first job and not have risked being a statistic. The statistic of a woman playing catchup the rest of her life when it came to her pay and wealth.
Don't be me. Be better than me. Know the game so that you can play the game.
Show Them The Receipts
No one can know your worth if you can't show them. You have to be able to give them proof that your presence at their company brings them money. Have a brag book whether it is in an actual notebook or on your computer. Write down every contribution you have made to the company and make sure you have it memorized before you sit down to negotiate a raise or a promotion. If it is your first job out of college make sure that you have experiences from college that can transfer to the workplace and be able to explain how the results from those experiences will add to the company's bottom line.
Whenever we hear the word negotiate we always tend to think about salary negotiation. What if we ask for a $15,000 raise and the company can only give us $10,000? How do you make up the gap? Ask for other perks such as more paid vacation days, an opportunity to revisit the missing $5,000 in six months, or two days per week to work from home. Be creative and think of ways to negotiate everything that is on the table.
Be Willing To Walk Away
If the company you are with or plan to work for does not see your value and won't pay you for it then you have to be willing to walk away. Many of you know that I paid off $50,000 of debt in two years, but what you don't know is that when I sat down with those managers in Indiana I was debt free with $10,000 in the bank. If I had the guts to say I wanted to work in NC and they said no I could have walked away and found another company to work for in NC. The issue for many is that you don't have that financial cushion and that gives the company control over you.
It is time that you take that control back and the only way to do that is to get your finances in order. When you don't have any debt and you have an emergency fund then you are able to truly ask for the money you deserved. You are in position to say to your employer or potential employer that you deserve "X" because you will deliver "Y" and if they play hard ball and don't budge then you can say "thank you, but no thank you!" You can walk away knowing that they did not appreciate your awesomeness, but someone else will and they will put dollars behind it.
Don't be like twenty one year old me. The one that was did not ask enough questions and did not demand her worth. Be like me today and don't compromise. I know what I bring to my clients and that is why my price is what it is. If I can bring in $50,000 to an higher ed institution then yes you are going to pay me. If I can increase the productivity of an employee which in turns increases a company's bottom line then yes you are going to pay me. Ladies you are worth every dollar, now go get it!
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For more money tips and information about my new book "The Money Attractor!" head to www.DebtSucksUniversity.com